dream a little dream, but don’t tell me about it
I already failed to uphold my vow to blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday during May.
SO SUE ME.
I fell asleep last night with my laptop upon me, my fingers poised above the keys.
Fine. Don’t sympathize.
Instead, let’s talk about dreams.
There’s nothing more fascinating in this world than your own dreams, and nothing more boring than the dreams of others. That’s why agents and editors want to scream/pull out your hair/give up not drinking when they get a manuscript that starts with the main character’s dream.
Really. It’s lazy.
Think about what you’re trying to do with that dream:
- Is it amusing filler? HECK. You’re not supposed to “fill” your book with anything! Every scene in your novel needs to move the story forward.
- Does the dream foreshadow something? Do your foreshadowing with offhand comments between characters or bring in minor incidents that will turn out to be major incidents, later.
- Is the dream revealing something in your protagonist’s character? Use one of your other tools: dialogue, action, internal monologue, plot, description, voice–etc., instead.
- Are you using the dream to dump backstory? Wow, lazybones. Backstory has to spool out slowly throughout your novel.
When I read a book with a dream sequence, I usually skim through it as quickly as possible.
Have you ever read a dream that was so fascinating you thought it was integral to the book?